Archive | April 2012

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“Negro equality. Fudge! How long in the Government of a God great enough to make and maintain this Universe, shall there continue knaves to vend and fools to gulp, so low a piece of demagoguism as this?” Abraham Lincoln

Everyone has seen the movie GLORY and assumes that if it was made by Hollywood and starred Denzel Washington it must be a true picture of what really happened in the Civil War. Actually it is a masterpiece of inaccuracy and misdirection – in every sense of that term – and is about as useful […]

“My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or to destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that. What I do about slavery, and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save the Union; and what I forbear, I forbear because I do not believe it would help to save the Union. I shall do less whenever I shall believe what I am doing hurts the cause, and I shall do more whenever I shall believe doing more will help the cause.” Abraham Lincoln in 1862

This book represents the confluence of certain very strong streams in American history. Having the world’s first truly secular government we have never had the cultural luxury of states that have an established religion and can look there for their icons of moral rectitude. One of the results of this has been our tendency to […]

“Damn the torpedoes, I’m going to the head!”

That bit of irreverence  was one of the more popular interpretation of the immortal words of a yankee admiral. According to the book by Admiral Farragut’s son, The Life of David Glasgow Farragut, First Admiral of the United States Navy, (New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1879), pages 416-417, Admiral Farragut said “Damn the torpedoes! […]

Let us design a flag under which Cuba will be free… the three colors of liberty are red, white and blue… white represents the purity of purpose in a Republican form of government… let us take the equilateral triangle… and the five-pointed star of the Texas flag because it carries a symbolic meaning… Narcisco Lopez

Narciso López was a Venezuelan born Spanish general who led several filibustering expeditions into Cuba with the goal of liberating the island from Spain. Most of López’ support came from the U.S. south, as were most of the paid soldiers who signed up with his expeditions, and it is widely believed that his main goal […]

A state has the same undeniable and unlimited jurisdiction over all persons and things within its territorial limits as any foreign nation when that jurisdiction is not surrendered or restrained by the Constitution of the United States… Roger Taney

For a concise history of the events read the author’s article in the Washington Post which will at least save you reading the whole book. One of the most remarkable things that comes out of the story is that the “slaves” in question by and large were employed a household servants by prosperous families and […]

History a the wish fulfillment of abolitionists.

The most important thing to remember is that Douglass was a newspaper editor and Lincoln was a politician. It is a safe bet that whatever their true feeling  they were never less than effusive with each other when it suited their purposes. From a wide variety of public statements the Kendricks have assembled a history […]

Louis Trezevant Wigfall who whispered in Jefferson Davis’s ear until he was no longer heard.

WIGFALL, LOUIS TREZEVANT (1816–1874). Louis T. Wigfall, secessionist, was born in Edgefield, South Carolina, on April 21, 1816, to Levi Durand and Eliza (Thomson) Wigfall and educated at South Carolina College and the University of Virginia. Wigfall believed in a society led by the planter class and based on slavery and the chivalric code. As […]

Cornerstone Speech Alexander H. Stephens March 21, 1861 Savannah, Georgia

Alexander H. Stephens was the vice-president of the Confederacy and this speech was his most enduring legacy. When perfect quiet is restored, I shall proceed. I cannot speak so long as there is any noise or confusion. I shall take my time I feel quite prepared to spend the night with you if necessary. I […]

And oftentimes, to win us to our harm, The instruments of darkness tell us truths, Win us with honest trifles, to betray ’s In deepest consequence.

The politics of the Confederacy was, in many ways, a mirror image of the politics of the north – the same but reversed. The great failure of the Confederacy is that they attempted to restore a form of government that had existed under the Articles of Confederation whose drafting had started in 1776 coincident with […]

Miscellanea – most of it wrong, the rest merely misleading.

Did Lincoln own slaves? : and other frequently asked questions about Abraham Lincoln    New York : Pantheon Books, c 2008  Gerald J. Prokopowicz Lincoln, Abraham, 1809-1865 Miscellanea Hardcover. 1st. ed. and printing. xxix, 311 p. : ill. ; 25 cm.     Includes bibliographical references (p. 259-294) and index. Clean, tight and strong binding with clean […]